On February 9, 1964, the Beatles performed in the United States for the very first time, appearing on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Watching the show was a pretty big deal for me.
On February 9, 2009, I'm going to be checking in at Kaiser for my very first chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments. Tomorrow's appointments are going to be another pretty big deal for me –probably bigger than the Beatles (sorry, John).
I'm probably as nervous now as the Beatles were on the night before performing on Ed Sullivan.
I want the treatments to succeed, so I can recover the functions that I have lost and get on with my life.
And I'm lucky to have a rooting section of people pulling for me by lifting my spirits, visiting with me, sending me cards and gifts, and by sending text messages –just a minute ago, I received another text message from someone wishing me luck with my treatments tomorrow.
I didn't know much about cancer when I got my diagnosis, and I still don't know enough about the disease. I'm learning as I go along.
Here are a few things about cancer that I have learned: According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.4 million cases of cancer were diagnosed in the United States in 2008. More than 565,000 people died of cancer in 2008 –that's more than 1,500 deaths per day.
And here is another thing I learned: a member of my extended family is not doing well in his battle against cancer.
So if you're one of the people rooting for me, I ask you to root for him, too.